Last Friday, the Kenyan Supreme Court nullified the recent reelection of the current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, by a vote of 4-2. After hearing this decree, the opposition soon filled the streets with uplifting chants and shouts.
Justice Maraga, the chief Justice of the Kenyan Supreme Court, has said that the October presidential elections contained “irregularities” and “illegalities.” Kenyans are now praising Justice Maraga for suspecting the different organization that ran the voting systems of rigging. The opposition and others, pleased with Marago, are beginning to call him a “hero.”
Many Kenyans believe that the October presidential elections were rigged. ,. Unfortunately, conflicts and violent behaviors were abundant in Kenya prior to the election, as many were on edge about rigging that would be in favor of Kenyatta. During the election day, BBC news contained videos of Guards blocking the general blocking from designated voting areas, therefore suggesting that rigging could be occurring. At the end, the results announced Odinga with 44 percent of the votes as the loser and Kenyatta with 54 percent of the votes as the next president. Whether or not Kenyans were happy or upset with the outcome, many Kenyans were uncertain about the election’s validity.
And two months later, the Supreme Court hears their uncertainty.
Many Kenyans from both sides feel that the re-election of Kenyatta v. Odinga for President will serve to build the trust which they lost in the 2017 election. One voter of Kenyatta, Caroline Wambugu, 23, says, “Now you can trust the courts and their handling of future elections.” Thus, the Supreme Court’s nullification has resurged the faith of the people in Kenya, with both sides aiming to establish the new election as both final and fair.
The Supreme Court’s degree shocked and angered Kenyatta. Before the elections, he felt assured that the court would side with him if issues of rigging were brought to the court. Kenyatta claims that it is unjust for the “six people” of the Supreme Court to rule “against the will of the people.” On the other hand, Odinga claims that Friday was “a historic day for the people of Kenya, and by extension the people of Africa.”
This nullification represents Kenya’s advancement towards democracy, and more profoundly, Kenya’s advancement towards justice. Vote rigging and corruption has been a part of Kenya’s history, until many hope- now. This Supreme Court nullification reflects Kenya’s deviation from the past and their advancement towards the future.